Thursday, December 29, 2011

Laundry Soap Update

 Back on October 29 I posted about the Laundry soap that I made from this recipe.  I originally started out with about 16 cups of Soap (the above container plus the below container.)

Today I still have the above container that I haven't touched, and this much(below) left of the original container!

When I added them together I have this much (below) left of my original batch that I made TWO MONTHS ago!

As you can see, I have been keeping track of the scoops I've used. (the black marks on the lid)

Conclusion After 2 Months of Use:
I have used a little over half of the soap and gotten 125 scoops out of it.  Which translates to 250 Tablespoons or 125 potential loads.  I say 125 "potential" because I sometimes used a scoop and a half for really dirty loads.
How did it work: I have not really noticed any difference in the way it cleans.  It seems to work great!  
What would I do differently next time: 1.I would cut up the soap much finer, because sometimes I still had chunks of undissolved soap when the load was finished.  2. I would use all-natural, unscented soap because of my sensitive skin.
Overall, I LOVE this soap and will continue to make it!  I spent less than $20 and it is going to last me over 3 months!  
Also, I have been using just White Vinegar instead of Fabric Softener, and it works great.  I never used scented softener anyway, because I have sensitive skin.  It comes out without any strong scent, just a fresh scent, and that is fine with me!  It is a cheap and natural alternative to softener! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas at Our House

So, this is Christmas, Nolt-Style...

 Today Joanna "helped" me make some apple pies and then she had to sit and watch them bake (this only lasted a few minutes).  Her dolly and kitty had to watch too.
 Here is a sneak peak at our pies. 
 And here is a sneak peak at some Christmas decorations around the house...

 The banner above, was a pinterest idea, as was the front-door wreath...

 The primitive wood nativity, that i love(above) and the Little People nativity that joanna loves(below)

 Another pinterest idea (above)...chalkboard nametags...!
 Ritz PB Crackers!(above) and Puppy Chow(below)

 Monster Cookies (above) and Molasses Cookies (below) (Not pictured:Frosted Sugar and Andes mint) lol
 Oh, and these buttery Press Cookies!  MMMM
So, that is a little of Christmas with the Nolts....(Disclaimer: I could not have made all those cookies without Mom Nolt's help!!)  Can't wait to get together with Family and share all of these goodies!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Spirit

We were gone most of last week and weekend at a Prison Crusade.  We had 6 services and were left feeling emotionally and physically drained while feeling spiritually charged.  We got home Sunday nite and spent the next day and a half getting laundry done and preparing to leave again!
Tuesday afternoon my honey and I went on an excursion to St. Pete Beach, we found an awesome deal for a beachfront hotel on Priceline ($49!) We had a wonderful time relaxing in the 75 degree weather!  (This is why people flock to FL in the winter)  

That evening we went to see Celtic Woman in Clearwater (Ruth Eckerd Hall).  Brendan had bought me tickets for my birthday (in October).  They sang Christmas music and it was FABULOUS!  They had a complete orchestra with them and I thought everything was HEAVENLY!   They only have three ladies right now, plus the violinist but it was still lovely.


They also sang this one...  Probably my favorite!  

So, now I am home and feel ready to get into the Christmas season and spirit!  Let the Holidays commence!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sense of Accomplishment

Don't you love the sense of accomplishment you feel after you complete a project or task that took some effort?  I am feeling pretty good about myself right now because I just accomplished the project of making laundry soap!  I saw this idea and recipe on Twila's blog and thought "I really need to try this!"  It was really simple to do but it feels good knowing that I saved some money and I can't wait to see how it works for me!

 Another sense of accomplishment comes from the painting of this chest of drawers.  I have been needing to replace the old chest of drawers that I kept in the kitchen to hold cookbooks, stationery, tools, batteries, etc.  It was so bad it was giving me splinters!  So I found this vintage beauty at GW for a steal, only it was a speckled light green!  Straight form the 70's!  So my dear husband spray-painted it for me.  Can't believe how nice it turned out.  I am considering painting a design on it like the one in the photo to the right.
What do you think?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Freezer Pop?

 On any random day, if you open my freezer, you might find something like THIS:

Not sure why it's so fun to freeze random toys in water!  But it sure makes life interesting!  Gotta love my kids...

Monday, October 24, 2011

More Pinterest-ing Stuff

So here are some more inspirations from Pinterest 
I was looking for some simple but pretty snack ideas for a party I was having, so I skedaddled over to Pinterest and found these cuties!  What a great idea for Valentine's Day, but also could be modified for other holidays/occasions!

I decided to make them with a Fall theme...They were so cute and Yummy!  I made them with a brownie mix in a mini-muffin pan.  Then I bought white icing and added food coloring.  This was very simple and inexpensive.  I could have made it from scratch, but I was looking for a quick and easy idea.

 The next idea I found on Pinterest was this cute mini veggie cup n dip.  I just HAD to try this!

Unfortunately, I couldn't find the clear cups in the mini size, so I did white ones.  It was so fun and handy!

The food was fun and pretty, and the only negative part of the party was that not enough people came to enjoy it!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Keeping the Little One Entertained

I have been getting all kinds of fantastic craft ideas on 
It's a virtual Bulletin Board where you can post your ideas and things you find all over the web.  And you can  also look at what others post.  Great stuff.  So I found this little notebook cover thing for a child and I decided to try to make one for Joanna to take to church, restaurants, or anywhere she has to sit for very long.

I started with a quilted pillow sham that I picked up at Goodwill and hadn't found a good use for, and some scrap fabric from a dress I had made for Joanna.

 I cut off a section of the pillow sham and sewed on the pockets, trying to only sew through the lining, and not the quilted cover.  I cut a slit in the lining where the tablet could slide through, and sewed a ribbon around the slit so it wouldn't tear any more. 

 I sewed ribbons on to close it, and Ta-Da!  A very fast and easy project. 

Oh, and she adores it!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Birthday on a Budget

After having three boys and having my fair share of frogs and snails and puppy dog tails, having a daughter has been DELIGHTFUL for this mommy.  She has brought a lot of SUGAR and SPICE into our lives (if you know what I mean)!  I have been dreaming for the last few months about having a princess birthday party for my little princess.  I decided to try doing everything the most economical way possible.  I started with handmade party favors.  The wands above were made of felt that I had lying around.  I hot glued two pieces together with a bit of cotton and a dowel rod and ribbons stuck inside.  Then I unearthed the sequin trim that was waiting in some dark corner of my craft supplies for this exact project!  That got hot glued to one side  of the wand. The only thing I bought for this project, was a  pack of dowel rods for $.97.  The jewels I had gotten earlier for a different project and the ribbon I had on hand as well.    These were a hit!

 These tiaras (above) were also party favors.  I bought the headbands in a pack of four for $1 at the Dollar Tree.  The sparkly white felt I had on hand.  I hot glued the felt to the headband and then glued on the jewels.  These were great because not everyone had a tiara with them at the party, so they could  put one on and instantly they were a princess!

 I wanted a birthday cake that was not very messy because the girls at the party would be 2 years old to 6 years old.  Cupcakes (which I love) or cake could end up making a disastrous mess (especially on my MIL's living room carpet)!  To solve the dilemma my MIL made me these twinkie cakes!  They were VERY yummy!  They ate them like a sandwich with minimal mess.  I printed out the little tiara shapes (on paper that my scrapbooking SIL donated to the cause)  and taped them to the toothpicks.    I also bought the serving platter at Walmart for $4. and painted it white.
The other food we had was very simple: PB & J cut into princess shapes (with cookie cutters bought at Walmart), chex mix and grapes.  Little girls don't eat very much anyway, for the most part!

This cake was just for pretty.  It caused the little girls to OOH and AAH over it, so it was worth the $5.98 I spent on it (Walmart).

On the table, I set the wands and tiaras at each place with a vase.  I borrowed most of these from my MIL.  I also brought the shabby chic candelabra (found at Goodwill and painted white) that sits on my kitchen table to be the centerpiece.  Everything was setting on a piece of sheer fabric that had small flowers glued to the underside of it (this was a relic leftover from my wedding nearly 10 years ago).

The chair covers are ruffly curtains that used to hang in my bedroom at my parents house.  We cut them and draped them over the blue and orange chairs from the Sunday school room at church.  Big improvement!  I bought the stiff wide ribbon on a 25 yard spool real cheap at Walmart.

 I found the tissue paper ball idea on the internet and watched the tutorial on how to do it. This was a lot of fun!  JoJo has these hanging in her room now. 

 Below is a picture of the Princesses eating at their royal table.

 For entertainment, I found this princess version of "Pin the Tail" at the Dollar Tree.  It even came with a little blindfold.  This was a hit.

We also play Duck duck goose, using the wands to tap the girls' heads.  They didn't really "get" the game, but they loved tapping with the wand!  

Over all, this party was very fun and inexpensive.  Most importantly, my little Princess had a very special day!